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Make a Plainfield woman’s cancer fight a little brighter on Jan. 29

Eva Mores: ‘We just really want to surround her home with light and love.’

Friends are raising money and hosting a luminary service on Jan. 29 for Lynn Smith (center), a longtime Plainfield resident and teacher at District 202, to support her as she battles stage 4 colon cancer. Lynn Smith is seen with her husband Tim Smith (left) and children Aidan (right, back) and Adam (right front) and Aryn (left, from).

Make a Plainfield woman’s cancer fight a little brighter on Jan. 29

The community is invited to show support to a longtime Plainfield resident who is fighting for her life after being diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer in 2020.

Lynn Smith, 53, a District 202 teacher for 32 years and mother of three, has been periodically hospitalized these last few weeks and now receives nourishment through an IV, according to Smith’s friend and neighbor Eva Mores of Plainfield.

“She’s very loved and such a pillar of the community,” Mores said. “She grew up in Plainfield and so did her husband. So they are known and loved by a lot of people.”

So friends began raising money through GoFundMe on Jan. 16, collecting more than half of their $50,000 goal, and will host a luminary event for Smith on Jan. 29.

illumLYNNate Plainfield will begin at 4:30 p.m. at Mores house, 24928 W. Prairie Drive in Plainfield, with the distribution of 1,000 luminaries, which were purchased by Smith’s friends, Mores said.

Mores said the luminary event is part of the overall fundraiser – and so much more.

“We just want to show Lynn how much she has lit up the lives of so many and just give her back a fraction of that with these luminaries,” Mores said. “We just really want to surround her home with light and love and have her feel how much she is loved.”

‘Every last penny will be donated’

The lighting will take place at 5 p.m. at Smith’s home at the corner of Creekside Drive and Prairie Drive, Mores said. Any updates to the event will be posted on the illumLYNNate Plainfield group on Facebook, Mores said.

Participants should park in the shaded area along Illini Drive or on Prairie Drive, east of Robin Court, Mores said.

People don’t need to donate to attend, but they should register to Mores can gauge expected attendance. People may donate $5 for a luminary or donate by check or cash to the family at the event, Mores said.

Mores stressed that the $5 luminary donation still goes to the Smith family since Smith’s friends have already paid for the luminaries.

“All the money will go directly to the family even if they [donors] purchased a luminary,” Mores said. “Every last penny will be donated.”

Mores said she applied for a permit for the event and has notified as many neighbors as she could reach door-to-door.

“The police are planning to close off the street,” Mores said.

Mores said Smith’s friends only recently started the GoFundMe account because Lynn Smith and her husband Tim Smith were working through most of Lynn Smith’s cancer battle.

In fact, Lynn Smith, an English teacher at Aux Sable Middle School in Plainfield, is also the teacher representative for the school’s parent-teacher association for the 2022-2023 school year.

“For the most part, after her initial surgery, she was able to get back to work and so was her husband,” Mores said. “And now her family just needs the additional financial support so they can care for her.”

‘A very devoted teacher’

Kirsten Philips, a first grade teacher at Liberty Elementary School in Plainfield, said she first met Lynn Smith about 15 years ago when they were both teachers at Central Elementary School in Plainfield, where Lynn Smith was also the teacher representative for that school’s PTA.

Philips said she was even the first grade teacher for Lynn Smith’s children. She said Lynn Smith “absolutely loves teaching” and would choose teaching in her “next life” if that were possible.

“She was always super passionate about reading,” Philips said, “and getting kids to love books and actually find the books that they will love.”

Outside of school, Philips’ and Lynn Smith’s children enjoyed playdates and waterparks together, and she and Lynn Smith became part of a group of teachers who grew close friendships with each other.

“She is one of my best friends,” Philips said. “So this has been really hard.”

More said Lynn Smith is funny, giving, smart, very witty and, from what people say about her, a “very devoted teacher,” Mores said.

“I just can’t say enough good things about her,” Mores said. “She’s just a fun person to be around. And so caring and just thoughtful…she very engaged with her community; she’s really invested in everything around her and in everything she does. Anything that people can give is truly appreciated it. We just want to be sure as many people that know her and love her come out to show their support.”

For more information about illumLYNNate Plainfield, contact Mores at 217-979-1749 or mores.eva@gmail.com.

To donate to Lynn Smith and her family on GoFundMe, visit gofund.me/1df5f8e8.